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By KEVIN KOELLING
CANNELTON – Cannelton’s board of public works and safety voted June 17 to replace a building that is two or three decades out of date, according to one member.
Street Commissioner David Marsh presented information on a 30-by-40-foot building from Lambert’s Post Frame Buildings of Utica, Ky. Theirs “was the best bid, by far,” he said. At $12,935, it included an air compressor, electrical components, insulation and concrete. He’d checked with all of the local contractors, and the next-lowest were $5,000 or $6,000 higher, he said.
“We’ve got air tools we can’t run … because we’ve got a little-bitty air compressor,” Marsh told the board.
A building was needed to protect the city’s plow truck and compacter in the winter, he also said. He appeared before the board in December to inform them insulation he’d hoped to add to his department’s building would be difficult to apply. Only a small break room could be kept warm enough to work on equipment during the winter, he said then.
The new building will be built adjacent to the existing one. The board recommended the purchase after Clerk-Treasurer Arvina Bozarth said funds were available in the city’s capital-projects fund, which held approximately $22,000. The city’s common council approved the purchase later in the evening.
He went to two places to get prices on the various components that will go into the building, Marsh explained at the earlier meeting, but “when we go to build it, I’ll go and try to find the best deal on everything.”
He plans to add heating later this year and said he’ll examine toward the end of the summer the best ways to do that.
A “great big gas heater” warmed the existing building’s break room in previous winters.
“We barely even turn it on,” he said, suggesting it may suffice for the new building.
“I think it’s been needed for about 25 or 30 years,” said Councilman and former Mayor Melvin McBrayer, “so we’re probably past due on something like that.”
Marsh also reported his department had gone to summer hours, meaning they work from 6 a.m. until 2:30 to finish before afternoon heat builds up.
He also said he received $2,025 in scrapping a truck his department had purchased as surplus from the state and that street paving and patching was to begin last week.
“All of our potholes – I know we’ve got some bad potholes – are getting fixed this week,” he said. “We’ve got some corners that we fixed drains on this year” that were also to be repaired.
The clearing of trees along the city’s cemetery to increase burial space had also begun, Marsh said.
Thieves at work
He also reported thieves are stealing signs along Washington Street.
“We replaced all of them last year right before the Heritage Fest,” he said. “Well, they’re tearing them down.” Two had been recovered by the police department, one found in an abandoned house, he said. He can continue buying new ones, “but it’s probably going to be an ongoing issue,” he said, adding, “they’re not cheap … you’re probably looking at $30 or $40 per sign.”
All but two of the signs along Washington had been torn down, Marsh said, but not for their cash value.
“It’s just hoodlums,” he said. “They’re not taking them to get anything out of them other than just to tear them up.”
Some signs were left atop, but bent around their poles, he said.
On a more positive note, work had begun on Cannelton’s relief wells, most of them that were checked “tested OK,” according to Sewer Department Superintendent Jerry Ball.
The city has 20 relief wells, which exist to keep the river from undermining the floodwall. As the News reported in November after one had been found to be blocked, officials were worried they’d have to drill another one, which would have been expensive.